Friday, April 24, 2009

'False reports' of Taliban presence hurting tourism: J&K Govt

Recent media reports suggesting presence of the Taliban in Jammu and Kashmir has triggered worries in the state government which on Friday said the "mis-reporting" has hit the tourism industry, particularly when the peak tourist season is set to begin. 
Officials of the state's Tourism Department emphasised that the situation in Kashmir has improved after two decades of militancy and tourists in the valley are "as safe as anywhere else" in the country. 
The "mis-reporting" about the presence of the Taliban has already resulted in some cancellations of bookings by tourists, Tourism Secretary Tanvir Jahan told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of the 16th Annual South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE). 
She said sections of media had wrongly reported about presence of Taliban in Jammu and Kashmir even though the army, state government as well as the Centre have denied such reports. 
"The recent reports in certain section of media, particularly the electronic media, about the presence of Taliban has not only adversely affected but also given a serious jolt to the ensuing season," J and K Tourism Director Farooq Shah said. 
He said the situation in the Kashmir valley is improving after two decades of militancy